Detention center faces overcrowding; County proposed tax increase

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MADISON COUNTY, Ky. (WTVQ) – The Madison County Detention Center is struggling with too many inmates and county leaders say something has to be done or else they’ll have to take money away from services that keep you safe.

Jailer Steve Tussey says he’s been forced to have inmates sleep on the floor because the jail often has to house 200 more inmates than it can hold. The facility can only hold 184 beds. Additionally, the county has to pay to send inmates to detention centers in other counties.

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Tussey says the drug epidemic and a growing population are to blame. He says the county is trying to keep numbers down and police are trying to limit the number of people they send to jail.

“They write citations instead of arresting people, they arrest only the worst of the worst and bring those to jail,” said Steve Tussey, Jailer.

The county has been trying to build a new jail, but a proposal to raise property taxes failed last year.



The county’s treasurer says if it doesn’t happen now then the county will have to start making cuts to services like road repair, the fire department, and the sheriff’s office.

The treasurer says the average family would pay $100 more in taxes. She says the taxes would help build a new a jail and bring in more money.

“We would also be able to house federal inmates, state inmates, and substance abuse program inmates which we get paid for all of that,” said Glenna Baker, Madison County Treasurer.

ABC36 asked the public how they would feel about the county raising property taxes and there was mixed emotions.

“They need to do something so if that’s an idea than I support it,” said a Madison County resident.

“I think it’s ridiculous they should make people pay for something they may not be criminals for doing,” said a Madison County resident.

There will be a public meeting on Tuesday at the Perkins building from 5:30-7 p.m. The final vote will be on September 10.